As dentist offices begin opening back up, the CDC has put strict guidelines in place. Here is an overview of industry-specific CDC guidance for dental facilities.

Now that many dental facilities have gotten the green light to reopen their health practices, it has become critical that procedures involving very close contact to others and specifically to saliva, that infection control and sanitation practices be put in place.

Strict CDC guidance for dental facilities have been put in place to ensure these facilities are safe for all. Recommendations include making priority dental treatments based on urgency as well as training staff and supplying proper PPE.

The idea is to ensure patients are receiving necessary care but that other people in the dental practice are not being placed in harm’s way for a potential viral infection.

Dental practices will follow the same procedures as other healthcare facilities as far as infection control and monitoring of patients temperatures as well as social distancing and PPE equipment but they have been given some specifics that are unique to the industry as well.

Here is an overview of CDC Guidance for Dental Facilities.

Tool Sterilization and Surface Disinfection

Dental facilities must continue to practice hygiene and sanitation that goes above and beyond. For sterilization and disinfection of tools and surfaces they must comply with CDC guidance for dental facilities, well as provide education training and monitoring for personnel.

After a patient has completed their appointment and left the room it must sit idle for 15 minutes to allow for any droplets to fall from the air. Then it may be disinfected using the steps provided and chemicals appropriate for the surfaces.

PPE Use and Removal

The use of PPE (eye protecting, masks, gloves and gowns) is important for dental care facilities. Reusable equipment should be properly cleaned, decontaminated, and maintained between uses. Being careful to remove items by their straps and putting in correct waste bins to stop contamination and hygiene are all critical steps in the process.

Dental Care for COVID-19 Positive Patients

Dental care for patients with COVID-19 confirmation must also be handled in compliance with CDC recommendations. This includes keeping the door closed when the treatment is being performed and avoiding the use of any aerosol generating procedure if possible. No other patients should be scheduled to be at the office at this time and the use of an N95 respirator or other disposable filter face-piece is required.

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